It’s Caturday and it looks like I’m getting it up on time for once. Lastech has changed shifts and I’m still struggling with the change. I got used to graveyard and now I’m getting used to days. The resident furballs managed to adjust a bit quicker, but then they sleep 18 hours a day. 🙂
Another late Caturday edition, this time dedicated to a topic we’ve touched on before, emergency preparedness…
Late, because we just returned from the annual San Francisco city-wide N.E.R.T. drill which took place this morning. A couple years ago, Rudha-an and I decided to try and create a family tradition by both getting certified as disaster workers and first responders. We did so by registering with the San Francisco Fire Department’s N.E.R.T. program, which they created in the ’90s following the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989.
The program’s acronym stands for Neighborhood Emergency Response Team, and is comprised of citizen volunteers who will act as auxiliaries to the Fire Department in case of a major emergency.
That’s about it for that tidbit of history. More recent events which took place in Boston (MA), West (TX) , and Leshan (China) prompted us to pay tribute to victims, both civilians and first responders.
The San Francisco N.E.R.T. program includes training for animal rescue following disaster, appropriately called D.A.R.T. (Disaster Animal Rescue Team), which we both will likely undertake soon. Now, several of our blog’s friends have lived through or continue to deal with traumatic life experiences, and we would also like to dedicate this entry to them as well.
The media talks about how to help children deal with the scary news of the past few days, and we think frankly that having them take disaster preparedness classes can be of great help. A young girl at today’s drill graduated from N.E.R.T. training when she was 7 years old and she is now in her teens.
For adults, busy though we all may be, it’s also a good thing to consider doing, especially jointly with a partner or spouse. The trainers, professional first responders, are survivors and generally speaking, great folks. Their spirit, humor and skills rub off and the whole experience is both fun and enriching.
Whatever tools help us claw our way through life are worth considering. So that others may sleep soundly. 18 hours a day…
These are the two furballs and the tortoise from my inlaw’s home.
With Rudha-an suffering a sore (parched?) throat down in the desert where the wind sandpapers eyes and nose alike, and Miss Jenny getting (slowly) over her case of the unburied runs, Titanus Grumpicus continues to eat like a hog and rests his weary bones in the kitchen window soaking up the sun.
Manx kittoons being subject to arthritis, we suspect it partly explains his grumpiness…
What with their nubby tail, long legs and sometimes short spine, the poor bastards don’t always know whether to run or hop around. Although Titanescu doesn’t seem to be in a lot of pain, he looks uncomfortable when the petting hand wanders down his back, legs or neck. Then it’s “I CRUSH YOU” time.
I know the feeling: it takes me about ten minutes to “unkink” myself after I sit for about an hour…
None of that fazes Tito who thinks he’s got a handle on old coot. When he’s not sure whether he’s gone a bit too far with the auld cat, Tito looks over at us to gauge our reaction if any. Smart cat.
We’re not yet sure what to make of Jenny’s odd behavior of late.
On two occasions, she has acted very scared, her pupils dilated, running at a crouch, “slinking” really, into the kitchen to hide in a cabinet. Combined with squirting melted Hershey bars which gross her out too much to bury, she bears watching. Well , not every Caturday can be about fun after all, but neither is it all drama…. Until next week!
Howdy my friends. I’m sorry about not posting last week so I’ll get you caught up on the news today. Titanescu has made great strides in adapting to life in our apartment. He’s still a grumpy ole fart, but he no longer growls and hisses at the other two. Instead, he has been cooing and trilling at Tito in order to entice him to play, so now he and Tito are having regular romps complete with cat drifting. Titan and Miss Jenny are now beginning to play a bit as well. He still tends to smack them with a paw when they get too close, but it’s a gentle smack and more out of habit than anything. Tito and Miss Jenny don’t bat an eyelash when he does it. 🙂
They aren’t snuggling together yet, but they get a bit closer every day. Titan seems to be happy and being able to run is good for him. He’s a lot lighter on his feet now.
Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without some drifting cats.
As a follow-up to last Caturday, this is what went on this morning at 5 am…
Tito started with his monkey-boy routine of hanging upside down on the cat tower…
Notice the rare evil glow in his eyes…
Although not everyone was impressed…
Meanwhile the old coot didn’t even care what was on tee-vee…
Eventually I manage to kind of “bat” Jenny away just long enough to check the time, 9:39 a.m., crap I’ve only slept three hours. She walks back and forth across the pillow and darts when I pet her, almost coquettish “oh no, monsieur, really you mustn’t! Hee! Hee! Hee!”
Back and forth, back and forth.
It dawns on me she’s digging around my night stand for something specific. She picks up an eyeglass cleaner in its wrapper and spits it on the floor, bats a small bottle of aspirin aside and gnaws at a pen, her eyes big as saucers and purring up a storm, with the determination of a French cop from XIX century literature, coquetry out the window now.
Jenny Javert, Javert-Jenny, whatever, I’m doomed by strawberry-cream jellybeans…
I get it, finally, and palm the toy laser before she picks it up to spit in my lap. She hasn’t seen me do it but she ‘senses’ I got something, so she walks over still purring loudly, extends her neck to smell my face, maybe give me a morning kitty kiss. She half closes her blue peepers, then vurps a small cloud of fishy breath up my nose.
But there’s worse now around here… Speaking of literature, of a Russian flavor this time. Titanus Grumpicus being treated for halitosis, his ‘affections’ can be fetid, especially after he’s nommed his canned food: I mentioned before he slobbers a bit. Well, that, combined with dragon breath and the tiny bits of Friskies mixed in spit he dribbles shape my dreaming into an episode of “Alien” where the freaking monster corners me in a dark service corridor and prepares to spear my forehead.
And do be careful trying to shoo him away, no matter how gently: he’ll swipe at your hand with surprising speed with a slavic-accented yowl you can interpret as “I crush you!” Old bastard.
Ah but Tito, the gentleman, rolls back and forth on the kitchen floor cooing, trying to prod the old coot into a game of tag, drawing him away from my eyes still puffy from sleep, cat vurps, farts and spittle, bless him. Of course, eventually, he’ll chase Jenny around and they’ll race across the bed, launching off of us like gut-punches or a brass-knuckled haymakers to the face. To the face…
So fine. I’m up. And we know Jenny and Tito have their theme music, but now we have to think of something for comrade Titanescu, something purple maybe? Like our bruises..?!?
“Start wearing purple” by Gogol Bordello…
n a mediator or advocate
Tito is a paraclete. Notice the small ‘p’. The capitalized version has a religious definition.
Tito was a dear when our first kitty was sick with lymphoma. He was much younger, but he tempered his play knowing that The Boober didn’t have the stamina.
Later, he greeted Kitsy enthusiastically without a hiss.
He did the same with Miss Jenny.
He has really shown off his ability to be a paraclete with the adoption of Titanus Grumpicus. Titan is a grumpy senior kitty who spent far too long in the shelter and had to endure two failed adoptions. He came to live with us one month ago today.
Enter Tito, the paraclete.
Tito has really worked at making friends with Titan. Titan would hiss, spit and swat (no claws though). Tito would just carry on without a twitch. Since it’s taking Titan longer to adjust to Miss Jenny, Tito tends to place himself between them in order to avert any animosity.
Last night, Tito managed to coax Titan into a short game of tag. It was impressive. This morning, for the first time, Tito and Titan sniffed noses. Titan finally remembered to hiss, but Tito just did his kitty version of a shrug and went off to nap.
Tito deserves as much credit as we do (if not more) for helping Titan to adjust to his new home. Don’t get the impression that Tito is an angelic kitty or something. He’s far from it. However, he knows when his paraclete skills are needed and uses them well.
I wanted to post this yesterday, but I was too pooped to type. I spent the day at the fire department taking part in a disaster operations class for some volunteer work I do. The class was fun and I managed to stay awake though I hadn’t had any sleep in over 24 hours. Once I got home and sat on the bed, I melted. So today you have it. Hopefully, next Caturday will go up as planned.
Tito is adjusting well to the new tyrant. He pushes things with Titan a bit, but not in an aggressive manner. He walks up to him and doesn’t let a hiss deter him. As a result, Titan hissing a lot less. Tito is a beautiful little soul.
Miss Jenny is more careful around Titan. I think she got her feelings hurt when he smacked her nose a while back. She’s not scared or aggressive. She’s just more careful to give him space.
Mr. Titanescu or Titan of the White Whisker has made plenty of progress this last week. We leave the door to his room open unless we’re both going to be out. He’s exploring the apartment more and more. He’s finally beginning to explore our bedroom and the place where the other two hang out most.
This morning he did something amazing. He played. He was in the hall and did one of the quick 180s and dashed into the kitchen. Tito followed. He then dashed into his room at top speed followed by Tito. He did that twice and only at the very end did he remember to hiss at Tito. Tito just looked at him and sauntered away calmly. I swear I saw Tito smiling.
We also discovered that Titan has a bad drug habit.
Waiting for the Pointy Eared people to work out their treaties and other political deadlocks, I look through older photos and forward to the tribe coming together.
So today is part retrospective, part look back to the future…
This is what I want:
Tito does the camouflage very well on this dark shiny blanket, but I think Titan will blend in even better…
… This is what I get:
And a really good thing it is that we “moored” the tower to the bookcase, or it would have been toppled countless times…
This is what I want:
The Boober did have the patience of a saint…
This is what I got:
Meanwhile, next door:
Just under Titan’s stubby tail is a teddy bear. It’s not what it looks like: these are the bears’ eyes and nose.
Maybe in the future we’ll have a cat named Jupiter or Jove, and Titan will moon him, rather easy with that nub of his…
Dedicated to our spectacular dramatis personae Maz Whang and Boober…
Finally, I now realize I blamed the cats unfairly when I couldn’t find my socks… I had no idea!
Fist things first. We want to congratulate our friend StateOfGrace for her adoption of Pearl, a bengal mix and Mabel, a beautiful black kitty. We know those two furbabies are very lucky and have a wonderful human who will love them, forever. Hugs and head bonks from the JBoD family.
Now… I’m beginning to get cranky. I want my rain and/or fog darnit! There’s too much sunshine. It’s hard to take pics that aren’t over exposed or suffering from terminal purple fringe. Oh well. We managed to escape and Lastech got a few nice pics in spite of the sunshine. These were taken around Lands End and Sutro Baths. It provided me with some much needed exercise as there were lots of stairs to deal with.
As for that white whiskered tyrant named Titan… He’s coming along. He’s still a hissing spitting old fart. Today we opened the door to his room and left it open for a while. He hissed at Tito. Tito was unfazed and ignored it while exploring Titan’s room. Jenny was napping elsewhere. 🙂